The Role of Antigen Rapid Diagnostic Test in COVID-19 Diagnosis

The Open COVID Journal 10 Nov 2021 DOI: 10.2174/2666958702101010108


Since the emergence of a novel infection due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19), the World Health Organization has urged countries to develop diagnostic tests to combat the pandemic. Molecular assays were developed following the release of the gene sequence of the virus in January 2020. Reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) is taken as the gold standard for the diagnosis of COVID-19. However, due to its limitations, highly sensitive methods for detecting antigens (antigen rapid diagnostic tests) have been developed that would help in a timely and accurate diagnosis. Antigen rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) can help guide patient management at the point of care by random screening, re-testing, and timely decision-making in the field of public health. When the affordability and validity of the diagnostic assay are involved, no assay can show 100% correct results. Further studies need to be done to better understand the response of the Ag-RDTs in different settings. Nevertheless, Ag-RDTs can play a complementary role in the response and case management of COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Antigen rapid diagnostic test, Sensitivity, Specificity, PCR.
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